Late Night: Questions for Michele Bachmann

By: Friday March 15, 2013 8:00 pm

You may have been wondering what Michele Bachmann has been up to ever since her too-close-for-comfort win over a challenger she outspent by more than twelve-to-one in a district that had just had its most liberal part (namely the city of Stillwater) removed. Then again, you may not have, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

 

Catholic Bishops Now Oppose Violence Against Women Act

By: Saturday March 9, 2013 9:00 am

Once upon a time, the USCCB produced a pastoral statement on domestic violence that opened with this sentence: “As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified.” Among other things, the statement takes on those who would misuse scripture to justify domestic violence, and calls on the church to keep in mind three things: the safety of the victim (and any children in the home), accountability for the perpetrator, and either restoring the relationship or mourning its loss.

Once upon a time, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops supported the Violence Against Women Act. This is not that time. Not any more . . .

Rethinking Immigration: Moms Will Do Whatever it Takes to Protect Their Kids

By: Tuesday March 5, 2013 10:50 am

Congress needs to understand something important as it works to pass a new immigration law: Neither a border nor even the threat of detention can keep a determined parent from trying to reach a child who needs her care.

To ignore this fact, when we have the opportunity to create an immigration system that truly meets the needs of our families and communities, would not only be a lost opportunity for good public policymaking, but also would put countless lives at risk.

The Pileup Behind the Fiscal Slope, and the Consequences of Inaction

By: Friday December 21, 2012 10:23 am

Say what you will about the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, which helped to set up what we’re seeing this month. But there was definitely a virtue in getting it done by early December, allowing for a productive lame duck session that repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, passed the New START arms reduction treaty, and several other measures. Because this entire lame duck has been consumed with fiscal slope negotiations, and really only the tax rate and social insurance part of it, bills that might have had a chance to pass through Congress if the pipeline were unclogged instead remain dormant. And unlike 2010, the bills in question in 2012 are more of the must-pass variety.

Lame Duck Congress Has Lots of Work to Do Even Without Fiscal Slope

By: Sunday November 11, 2012 6:45 am

Among the many other reasons not to engage in a grand bargain during the lame duck session is that Congress actually needs to get busy with other matters. For a variety of reasons, mainly that they’re not good at their job, Congress left a multitude of items on the table for the lame duck, many of which must pass aside from the fiscal slope measures like the Bush tax cuts, the sequester, unemployment insurance, the payroll tax cut and the alternative minimum tax patch. The Hill rounds some of them up.

I put these in the categories of “good” and “must avoid disaster.”

Congress to Hightail it Out of Washington With Major Priorities Unfinished

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 7:36 am

Congress is in session this week for the final time this year before the election. I sort of shrugged this off as fairly typical for an election year, but it’s not. Usually, Congress stays in session until about a month before the election. Here they’re leaving with seven weeks to go. The do-nothing Congress has decided to double up on doing nothing.

Democrats Adamant on Senate Version of Violence Against Women Act

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 4:33 pm

The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act got caught up earlier this year in a partisan controversy. Republicans objected to provisions that would have expanded the anti-domestic violence protections to tribal land, undocumented immigrants and same-sex couples. Both the House and Senate passed versions of the bill that catered to their respective bases. And there didn’t seem to be much hope for a reconciliation of the various differences. Joe Biden and Dems came out strongly today for their expanded version.

Congressional Gridlock Starting to Have Impact

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 4:15 pm

I’ve spilled a lot of e-ink about the fiscal cliff, that looming set of expiring measures at the end of the year that will have a serious impact on fiscal policy, spending and taxes going forward. But there are quite a few policies that either expire or are urgently needed well before the end of the year. And election-year politics being what they are, those measures are getting bottled up.

Yesterday’s Congressional Embarrassments, Explained

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

Today should be a bit better; the Senate will probably confirm two nominees to vacancies at the Federal Reserve after having rejected other nominees for these positions previously.

Administration Threatens Veto for House Version of Violence Against Women Act

By: Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Today the House votes on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. A version already passed the Senate with 68 votes, but the House version cancelled several protections Senate Democrats added, to apply domestic violence protections to Native Americans, undocumented immigrants and LGBT families. This has drawn a veto threat from the White House. Here’s their statement.

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